Jordan Lewis was one of the most sought after corners coming out of college in 2017. The former Michigan Wolverine was a two-time first-team All American and All-Big Ten performer (2015,2016) as well as the Big Ten Defensive Back of the Year in his final collegiate season (2016).
After leaving Ann Arbor he hit the ground running during his rookie campaign. He was in a draft class that also included Chidobe Awuzie and Xavier Woods, both starters. Playing in 15 games and logging 7 starts, Lewis made his reps count. Finishing with 54 tackles (48 solo), 1 interception and an impressive 10 passes defended. All the signs pointed to himself and Awuzie being the team’s starting corners for the foreseeable future.
However, plans took a shift in January of 2018 when the Dallas Cowboys brought in Kris Richard as the Defensive Backs Coach and Passing Game Coordinator. He made his mark in Seattle as the orchestrator of the “Legion of Boom”, guiding the careers of big names such as Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas, and Kam Chancellor. His motto has always been to have tall and long-armed defensive backs, and at 5’10, Lewis simply didn’t fit his philosophy.
He would switch Byron Jones from safety to corner, his most natural position, resulting in him becoming a second-team All-Pro. As a result, the former third-round pick got lost in the shuffle and basically forgotten in 2018. He saw action in 15 games just like his rookie season but only managed one start. A pedestrian 12 tackles, 1 pass defended and an interception would be all be could muster.
But in the game of football, it’s always important to stay prepared in case of an injury. Lewis was afforded new life and a chance to step up in March when Jones had surgery to fix a hip ailment. The hope was for him to be ready by training camp but he likely won’t see any action while the team is in Southern California, as he was put on the PUP list.
As training camp has commenced, Lewis isn’t wasting time reminding everyone just how talented he is.
Jourdan Lewis has a really nice day in 1v1s. I counted 3 PBUs l, and the one completion he gave up was on a route that took 6 seconds to develop. https://t.co/uvcivEmvgX
He’s showing that if for some reason the Cowboys can’t reach a new deal with Jones, who’s set to be an unrestricted free agent in 2020, he’s more than capable of being the player he was intended to be when his draft card was turned in. The more reliable defensive backs you have in today’s NFL that’s predicted to the offense, in particular the passing game, the better off you’ll be.
Here’s Jourdan again, vs. Cedrick Wilson #cowboyswire https://t.co/JJqp8yXqoW
The Cowboys are optimistic that Jones will be ready for the season opener against the Giants. If that weren’t the case Lewis is proving he can step in and shoulder the load. The organization wouldn’t have to look in the draft or free agency to fill the shoes of Jones if he decides to test free agency. There’s still a month to go before the season starts but Lewis is definitely getting eyes back on him with his performance thus far.